Local hero and track specialist David Murcott used traffic to snooker race leader Robbie Farr and execute a stunning pass for the lead and the eventual win in the $10,000 to win Sprintcar Jackpot Invitational. Murcott’s stunning win capped an excellent night of action at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway that was once again in danger of losing one it’s premier events to inclement weather when early evening showers once again threatened to derail the Jackpot Invitational.
Farr’s sizzling 11.822 second lap time in the Pole Shootout ensured the defending President’s Cup winner would top the time sheets and start on pole position with Murcott second quickest followed by Steven Lines, Dennis Jones and Jack Lee.
Electing to start from outside of the front row on the rain sodden track, Farr’s decision immediately paid dividend’s as he launched into the lead at the drop of the green flag.
Mid race distance and Farr still held sway over Murcott while Lines had climbed to third place following a torrid battle with Jones who slipped to fourth.
As leader Farr approached traffic and attempted to distance himself from Murcott it went horribly wrong when Farr slipped up track enough following a slight touch allowing Murcott to slip through and into the lead.
With Farr now behind him, Murcott produced a faultless final handful of laps to capture a popular win in front of his adoring Geelong fans over Farr, Lines, Jones, Lee, Nick Lacey, Kris Lacey, Quentin Tanner, Peter Milnes and Michael Cunningham who failed to finish the event.
“I knew traffic was my only chance to get Robbie (Farr) and I guess we were pretty lucky there,” beamed Murcott from victory lane.
“Full credit to the Drew families for putting this event on and we finally got this race on after the last two being washout out so full credit to them.”
Murcott was also quick to thank his Horrell Motorsport team and Eagle Chassis for their ongoing support while long time crew chief Dave Sharman was also thrilled with the result.
With support from CAT Rentals, the Sprintcar Jackpot Invitational opened the evening with a pair of 25 lap qualifiers that saw local Peter Milnes romp to the win in the A qualifier while Kris Lacey would do likewise in the B Qualifier.
Most interest centered around defending Essendon Ford Sprintcar track champion James McFadden who drew the #1 starting spot in the A Qualifier yet only three laps into the 25 lap event while leading McFadden cannoned into a stranded Stephen Bell. Upside down following contact, Bell was fortunate to escape uninjured following the incident.
McFadden restarted in front however the damage was sufficient enough to the front end of his chassis that he drifted back to eventually finish fourth and good enough to advance to the semi final only for a malfunctioning shock to end the young stars night.
Veteran Trevor Green was the big mover in the A Qualfier advancing from 13th to 3rd in a stirring drive.
Likewise Robbie Farr romped from 10th to 3rd in the B Qualifier but it Steven Lines who showed impressive car speed when he marched from 14th to 4th at race end.
Advancing out of the Last Chance Qualifier was Jack Lee, Max Dumesny, John Vogels and Glen Sutherland after South Australian Danny Pestka cannoned into the turn 2 wall after biking his #27 while running third.
Milnes backed up his earlier strong win with another in the Semi Final that was cut short 18 laps into the event when John Vogels got upside down while inside a transfer position following contact with Carl Ludeman.
With 12 cars eligible for the Pole Shootout, that was all that was remaining of the 18 car semi final field allowing officials to abandon the race advancing the remaining drivers.
With only a 10 car field needed for the Jackpot final, two drivers from the pole shootout would miss the final and those unlucky enough were Darren Hickman and Glen Sutherland.
Only run for the second time in four years, the Sprintcar Jackpot Invitational proved to be a success with fans and racers alike enjoying the opportunity to run a unique format while competing for exceptionally good prizemoney. Drivers will be keen to record a heat race or feature race win to qualify for the 2013 installment of the Sprintcar Jackpot Invitational.
Next Event; Saturday October 27th – Club Show
Website; www.avalonraceway.com
For more info contact Jeff Drew 0418 160 985 / Gavin White email gwxp@speedway.net.au